Why We Don’t Call Ourselves a ‘PR Firm’ Anymore
Marketing looked a lot different a few years ago than it does today. Agencies were siloed and CMOs would sometimes spread their work across three or four different firms. Ad agencies, digital shops and PR firms all had different capabilities. And to be honest, some are still doing it that way today.
For many years, (W)right On Communications considered itself a PR firm.
Over the years, we added video and graphic design capabilities, but PR was our bread and butter. Five or 10 years ago, that ‘siloed’ model worked for us. Back then, PR professionals focused on traditional PR strategies and measured earned media based on advertising value equivalencies (AVEs). PR work was largely focused on the top of the marketing funnel (awareness) and not focused enough at the bottom (action). Back then, communications often happened in a vacuum. Today, the lines are blurred.
Savvy PR experts recognize that they need to focus on ROI for client partners and help advance their business in proven, “bottom of the funnel” ways. We at (W)right On take our client partners’ bottom lines seriously, from leveraging our AMEC certification in measurement and evaluation, to integrating ourselves as a full-spectrum communications agency. We’ve blended PR with other aspects of marketing and communication strategies to address an array of needs and drive powerful outcomes from multiple outputs.
Recently, the PESO model (below) has gained a lot of attention in our industry, and for good reason: it makes perfect sense for conducting a modern approach to communications. PESO – an acronym for paid, earned, shared and owned media – highlights all the ways PR efforts can extend beyond media relations and support and measure an integrated communications program.
Image credit: Mashable
- Paid media means anything you pay for – think magazine ads, sponsored posts on social media channels, lead generation efforts and the like
- Earned media means any media you earn – this hits PR in the most traditional sense. A great article accomplished by pitching a journalist or setting up a blogger influencer program would both be examples of earned media.
- Shared media includes things like brand partnerships, earning coverage for charitable giving or community involvement or engaging brand activists. It can also include organic social media.
- Owned media is content your brand creates and owns, like a brand blog, website, customer reviews and employee stories.
The PESO model encapsulates what PR is in 2016. We’ve always said, “Media hits are not a communications strategy,” so the PR professionals of the future will need to know how paid social media ads, inbound or content marketing, paid advertising, social media for customer service, community partnerships, earned media, and native content all tie together. This holistic, unified approach allows for more meaningful campaigns, better measurement and, most importantly, greater success.